NSTA 2023 Presentation: Teacher Ambassador Kenny Bae
Kenny Bae, one of UBTECH Education’s Teacher Ambassadors, recently presented his latest project at the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Spring Conference held in Atlanta March 22-25, 2023. Kenny submitted a presentation proposal that was accepted and UBTECH Education supported his attendance.
Titled, ‘World’s 1st Indoor Skydiving Robotics Program for Girls and Gender Expansive Youth,’ the presentation highlighted Kenny’s work developing and piloting the world’s first skydiving robot competition program specifically designed for girls and gender-expansive youth ages 9-18.
The goal of the program is to provide free and low-cost explorations in aerospace, robotics, renewable energy, engineering, and art to a diverse community. Kenny created the indoor skydiving robotics competition to have a space for students to explore, fail, and think as they design, build, program, and test the robots they create.
For the presentation at NSTA, Kenny was joined by robotics student leader Zsofia, along with others from Gies College of Business – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a few students from the minorities aerospace RSO from the Grainger College of Engineering, all who were involved in the initial launch of the program. The group presented to an audience of 10 teachers and administrators from across the U.S.
Under the guidance of a highly skilled all-female and nonbinary student team, students use UBTECH Education’s UKITs to build and program robots using uCode. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategies and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Awards are given for the competition as well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.
In the program, students are able to:
- Design, build, and program indoor skydiving robots – tested at an iFly indoor skydiving center
- Apply real-world math and science concepts
- Develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills
- Compete and cooperate in alliances and tournaments
- Earn a place in the Indoor Skydiving Robotics Championship
Kenny believes that in order to develop the next generation of students as world-changing innovators, engineers, and scientists, educators need to include diverse voices and perspectives, including girls and gender expansive youth.
Throughout the presentation, attendees asked questions about the kit, cost, weight and how the students went about building the robots. One teacher from Boston even gave Kenny a high five right as the presentation concluded. Speaking after, the teacher said that of all the presentations attended, she “hasn’t seen one where students helped present.”
In addition to presenting, Kenny was able to meet with teachers, professors, educators, administrators, and curriculum experts from across the country who came together to share best practices, innovative instructional strategies, and techniques to engage students in STEM.
If you’re interested in learning more or want to start your own skydiving robot program, you can reach out directly to UBTECH Education.